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Liao Industries develops medical implants to correct birth defects. But the same technology has other applications. Before long Simon Liao, dynamic young heir to the company, has developed machine-enhanced soldiers who are hired out as mercenaries, and brain implants that can boost mental abilities more than tenfold.
The pace of change is too fast for the world to accept calmly. There are clashes between the 'machine-evolved' and normal humans. Dreadful civil wars and environmental collapse rip apart the existing nations. Liao Industries becomes the Golden Liao Empire, with Simon Liao as its Emperor. Other empires of the machine-evolved arise too, some ruthlessly expansionist and all dedicated to technological advance.
Follow Rachel Bond through this fast-changing world - first as Liao Industries' star patient, used as a living exhibit to promote its technology, then as Simon's wife and Empress. Rachel wants to heal the world, using technology to repair the damage that mankind has done. But can she persuade Simon and his rivals to turn away from war before it's too late?